Petrification are an American band – formed in Portland in 2014. Summon Horrendous Destruction is their debut release. With that title, I think it is safe to assume that Summon Horrendous Destruction is going to be a pretty heavy black/death metal EP.
On their Facebook page, Petrification, state they have formed because of their love for old school Swedish, British and particularly Finnish death metal. They want to create music that, while an homage to its roots, would allow it’s members to find their own unique voice in extreme metal.
There are 5 members in the band. They are founding member Tom Roberts (WarVest) who plays guitars along with David. Mario Thunder looks after drums and Nukes looks after the bass. Finally Jason is the vocalist. Some of the band’s influences are listed as Convulse, Demigod, Grave, Carcass and Entombed.
Summon Horrendous Destruction was released on the 3rd of March on digital and cassette. It has 4 tracks on it which come in at around 16 minutes long in total.
The first track is the title track, Summon Horrendous Destruction, which is 5 and a half minutes long. A few cymbal taps and a the growl of a deep bass line start the song off slowly. A simple low toned riff, heavy bass play over slow drums at the start. Those drums soon speed up though and a few higher pitched guitar leads play out on top of the deep and dark riff. Vocals are low toned and aggressive. The same riff plays underneath them but is sort of swallowed up by the vocals.
A verse ends with a roar and the music responds by picking up the pace a bit. Some really nice guitar leads play out over the vocals nearer the end. There is an unwelcome effect used to extend the roar of the vocals at some points that sounds a little at odds with the rawness of the rest of the song. It comes to an end with the title being growled out over the same low toned riff from the start. It’s a heavy start but not a particularly exciting one.
Stagnation of Transmigration is the next track and starts off with a fast guitar before a roar pulls all the instruments in together. It’s much faster than the first track. Vocals are again dark and deep. The speed slows down to a drawn out bass line and slow thumping drums. The vocals are growled out slowly here and then a lead guitar comes in and breaks up the monotony a bit. The pace picks up a bit and there is a nice rhythmic instrumental section before the vocals come back in. It ends with a huge roar but, while it is a better song than the first, there are too many times where it is hard to distinguish between the two tracks.
Perhaps The Headless One will improve on it? It doesn’t at the beginning, starting with almost the exact same style as Summon Horrendous Destruction. There are a few cymbal taps and then a bass line before a slow paced riff and drum beat take over. A few loops of this sees the pace pick up and then the vocals join in. The vocals are the same style and tone as the previous song. There are some really good riffs and drums going off occasionally in the background but there is also a bit where the music and vocals sound really out of time. I assume it was purposely done but I don’t think it sounds great.
So to the final track – Desecrators of Conscious Entropy. Again we have the cymbal crashes followed by a bass growl at the beginning. That’s 3 out of 4 songs with the same start now. There is a nice guitar lead intro after this backed with slow thumping drums. The drums are really fast after this though. They explode into life at the same time the vocals come on board. Again the vocals stick to the deep, dark tone. The riff is pretty simplistic and there is a nice pace to the song overall though there are a few slow downs near the end.
I think, as a first ever release, they are a band with a lot of talent and ability. There are moments of good drumming, some good riffs, a solid bass, a few decent guitar leads and powerful vocals. The problem though, is that aside from the “moments” these 4 songs are really similar sounding and a little monotonous. I get that in some versions of extreme metal, there are maybe barriers that stop you being too creative. This is the extreme of that though.
There is one single tone of voice and 3 out of 4 tracks have the exact same start as each other. Even within the songs, you can get confused as to which one of the 4 you are actually listening to at times. This all point towards an EP that just doesn’t bring enough to the party to be memorable. There are little moments though. Little things that happen here and there that are enjoyable.
Whether it is a sudden speed up and drum blast, a guitar lead or a deathly roar backed by a ripping bass, just, every now and then, there is a moment in a song that suggests they can do better.
If Petrification can take some of those moments and multiply them it will remove some of the bits that are a little too samey. For me, they need a few more riffs and a few more leads. Another tone to back up Jason’s powerful but very deep growls wouldn’t go amiss either. They have a talent – you won’t accidentally stumble on these little moments by coincidence. They just need to open up a little bit more to really turn some pretty standard, or sub standard, extreme metal songs into something bigger and more interesting.
Summon Horrendous Destruction is available now on the usual streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify. You can also buy a digital or physical copy from Sentient Ruin Laboratories. Check out the band on Facebook and on Bandcamp for more information on them and their future releases.
Petrification - Summon Horrendous Destruction (Sentient Ruin Laboratories)
The Final Score - 4/10